Tags: gehrig | palmenteri | steinbrenner | torres

Yankees' Commitment to Special Needs Kids Unwavering

gleyber torres and chris alvarez

Gleyber Torres and Chris Alvarez (Photo Credit Ray Negron)

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Friday, 17 May 2019 06:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In life people seem to think that they have the biggest problems in the world.

However, if they took the time to look around, they would see that there are always people with much larger ones than their own. 

I've had a whirlwind 48 hours.

It started at the YES studios at 8:30 in the morning.

A long line was starting to form because the popular television show, "Centerstage" was featuring Bronx Legend and Oscar nominated actor Chazz Palminteri.

I was there was because if you have ever seen a Bronx Tale than you know why I love that movie and play so much. However, more importantly I was there because I had received a call from Nick Singh from an organization called Experiences 4 Causes.

He told me about a 17 year old boy, Tyler Padron who is suffering from Hydrocephalus, a condition occurring when the brain gets too much water.

Tyler has had 40 operations to date.

Nick was hoping that somehow we could put Tyler together with Michael Kay because Tyler’s dream has been to become a broadcaster and his true hero has always been Michael Kay. With that being said I contacted one of my true friends, Charlie Santoro, who is an executive at YES.

More importantly Charlie is a true champion of all children’s causes.

We brought Tyler to the studio and waited for Michael back stage.

You could tell that Tyler was as nervous as a teenager waiting for a rock star.

When Michael came out of the makeup room he went right over to Tyler and treated him like a true VIP.

Michael gave Tyler his true Bronx charm and made Tyler believe that in life anything is possible. By the scars on Tyler’s head you could see that he had gone through a lot, however Michael Kay and Tyler Padron together were champions for a cause.

That afternoon, I went to Yankee Stadium for a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles. On this particular day Gleyber Torres hit three home runs, which is a very special day for any baseball player, but what made it more special for Mr. Torres was that the next day was an off day and he was going to spend it with a bunch of special needs kids and kids suffering from all types of problems including cancer.

These are childrn who have never really had a fair chance in life to truly be young.

Yet, they never seem to complain.

When Gleyber Torres and his friend and agent Jose Mijares showed up at the Viscardi Center, the eyes on the kids’ faces glowed.

There were other stars there like Ron Dugay, the former Ranger, and Hall of Fame football star Harry Carson, but the kids just gravitated towards Gleyber.

Let’s not forget that he's only 22, so he is close in age to a lot of these kids.

The great thing about Gleyber is that he looks at these kids not with special needs but as the children they are.

One youngster that has spent his whole life in a wheel chair and has never complained is named Chris Alvarez. Even though Chris is probably only two and a half feet tall, in Gleyber’s eyes Chris was six feet tall.

Gleyber even exchanged telephone numbers and invited Chris to a Yankee game.

Chris mentioned how happy he was that Gleyber hit three home runs and Gleyber being Gleyber told Chris that the three homer in game would always be dedicated to him. All the parents that were there thought that was just a beautiful gesture.

In the immortal words of George Steinbrenner and Lou Gehrig, "We’re Yankees, it’s what we do."

A special thank you to Larry "Travolta" Davis for looking out for the kids at the Viscardi Center.

Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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RayNegron
I went to Yankee Stadium for a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles. Gleyber Torres hit three home runs, which is a very special day for any baseball player, but what made it more special for Mr. Torres was that the next day he was going to spend it with special needs kids.
gehrig, palmenteri, steinbrenner, torres
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2019-33-17
Friday, 17 May 2019 06:33 PM
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